Down a little nook on Guling street sits a small, fairly inconspicuous theater. In fact, this theater is one of the best places to go to see what is happening on Taipei’s current theatrical scene. With fairly inexpensive shows, written, produced, directed, and acted by local artisans, this is community theater at its best. Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre regularly holds small, yet meaningful productions for you to exercise your creative and thoughtful side.
Being locally produced and produced with a low budget, the shows tend to be much less visually appealing and move toward quality of content instead. However, that isn’t to say that the shows don’t look great. The staff really do a lot of work to make sure the props and costumes look good. But you won’t see many scene changes or different outfits.
That being said, the shows and the actors themselves are usually top-notch and since they are mostly classically trained, they know how to connect with an audience and draw them into the story.
The shows themselves usually change over about once a month. Like most Avant-garde theater, it really is hit or miss with regards to story and whether it can be portrayed well enough while at the same time being abstract. As we are in Taiwan, you can expect most if not all of the shows to be in Chinese, so do your research before you purchase tickets.
The building itself isn’t actually that small; however, the theater is a bit cramped with bench-style seating and some audience members having to sit on the floor. But this is community theater so rather than complain about how crowded it is, we like to think of it as getting close with people like us.
Once a part of the old Taipei City wall, later a police station and now a theather, there is nothing particularly special about the building other than the fact that it looks like slightly old. Besides being a theater, it is also a great place to get info on literally hundreds of other performances from choirs, dance troupes, other theaters, and anything else art-related. The foyer has fliers everywhere, and the staff themselves are quite knowledgeable about the art scene.
Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre is a cool little venue to see some good shows (and some not so good) as well as find information about other artistic events going on around Taipei. It’s a fun place to visit every now and then, and the prices for shows are fairly reasonable. If you like performance art, then we recommend you check it out.
Here’s a link to find out more about the theater and upcoming performances.